sleep regression
Jennifer

Jennifer

Your Baby Sleep Consultant expert.

Four Month Sleep Regression

If you are reading this, you are probably in the throes of the dreaded four month sleep regression or at the very least, preparing for it. First of all: take a deep breath. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. As a certified Baby Sleep Consultant, I have helped hundreds of families get through this sleep regression. I have created this guide to help you understand the what’s, why’s and most importantly, the how’s of the four-month sleep regression. Below you will find my best tips and tricks for overcoming this difficult time and getting some good sleep (for both you and your little one)!

What is the four-month sleep regression?

The four-month sleep regression is a period of time, lasting anywhere from two to six plus weeks, when your baby is going through a change in their sleep schedule. It can start as early as ten weeks to as late as five months old. You might find your baby suddenly waking frequently during the night or resisting sleep in general when they used to sleep well. Some other signs include changes in appetite, less napping, and fussiness.

Since this is the first sleep regression your baby will experience, it can be the hardest to deal with. The good news is it’s all because your baby is growing and gaining a new level of awareness, so they’re more curious about their world!

The science behind it

At four months old, your baby will need about twelve to fifteen hours of sleep for a twenty-four hour period. This means a four to six-month-old baby will get around ten to eleven hours of sleep during the night, with one or two awakenings to feed.

This is because your baby’s sleep cycle is starting to change. The four-month sleep regression is linked to a permanent change in their sleep cycle where your baby will start to experience more time in a non-REM sleep stage, causing them to wake up more frequently.

As a newborn, your baby used to have a sleep comprised of 50% REM sleep. Now, as they’re getting older, they’re moving onto sleep cycle of 25% REM sleep so they’re able to make room for the other sleep stages. Even though their REM sleep is lighter than an adult’s, the new sleep stages added to their cycle are lighter than what they’re used to. As a result, there’s a higher chance your baby will wake up as they settle into sleep.

Not to mention, this sleep regression might coincide with developmental milestones such as learning to roll over; all of this will cause your baby to wake more frequently.

Can I avoid the four-month sleep regression?

The answer is: no. It’s an inevitable and permeant change as it’s part of your baby’s development and their changing sleep cycle. However, it doesn’t have to be a waking nightmare! There are ways to prepare for the sleep regression and to manage it.

Managing the four-month sleep regression

1.) Give Time to Practice New Development Milestones During the Day 

If your baby has discovered a new skill, such as rolling over, it might be keeping them up at night as they try to practice it. By giving your baby time to practice their new developmental skill during the day, they won’t spend all their nights trying to learn it!

2.) Slowly Break Sleep Associations

While this step works best in preparation of the four-month sleep regression, it can also work once the sleep regression starts. Since newborns don’t have a proper sleep cycle, they often fall asleep while being nursed or held. As a result, a sleep association is created, where your baby will associate being held, etc. with sleeping. Try to slowly break these sleep associations by replacing them with new ones that don’t require your presence.

3.) Put Your Baby Down Drowsy

When your baby is drowsy, put them in their cot right away rather than waiting until they’re asleep. This will help teach your baby how to sleep on their own and will help break any sleep associations they’ve made.

4.) Fully Feeding During the Day 

As your baby is more curious about the world around them, you might notice their attention shifting away from feeding. This can lead to your baby finishing feeding before they’re actually full, so make sure to feed your baby in an environment with no distraction. Full feedings during the day and before bed can help prevent your baby from being hungry at night. A dream feed (feeding while your baby is sleeping) might help as well!

5.) Adjusting Bedtime 

If your baby is fighting sleep during the day and waking up at night, they likely aren’t getting enough sleep. When a baby is overtired, they can resist sleeping and occur a sleep debt. Try to adjust when bedtime is and put them to bed earlier so they get a few extra hours of sleep; you may need to drop the last nap of the day to accommodate this change.

6.) Ask for help!

This can be an especially exhausting time; in order to take care of your baby, you have to take care of yourself too. If you have a partner, family or friends who are willing to help, let them! Try to switch night shifts or even have someone watch over your little one during the day so you can get some much needed rest. If you find yourself unable to get through the four-month sleep regression, fill in the enquiry form and we will be in touch shortly.

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Terms & Conditions

Jennifer is a qualified IMI Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant, Doula and MNT Maternity Nurse. These qualifications enable her to assist pregnant women with their sleep issues, support women during labour and the birthing process, guide parents during the postpartum period and educate families about their baby’s sleeping habits. Jennifer provides safe and gentle sleep training methods based on knowledge obtained during her studies, successful qualifications and 16+ years experience.

Jennifer has obtained her paediatric First Aid Training through KidZAid and is registered to work with babies and children in Australia and Europe. Techniques and methods used are all derived directly from her qualifications and from her many years of experience.

Jennifer’s advice does not replace the advice from your Doctor or Paediatrician, and her advice should not be relied upon as medical advice. For medical advice, you should always seek the advice from your medical practitioner. Therefore, you should consult with your health-care professional should you have any healthcare related questions or before embarking on a new sleep program. If a medical problem appears or persists, do not disregard or delay seeking medical advice from doctor. Accordingly, Jennifer expressly disclaims any liability, loss, damage, or injury caused by information provided to the client.

Jennifer will educate, support you and guide you through the sleep challenges needed to make change in your baby’s sleeping habits. As a Baby Sleep Consultant, Jennifer is not responsible for your application of the sleep solutions once the consultation has concluded. Once the sleep consultation has concluded it is the responsibility of the parent(s) to apply the agreed methods and solutions. Jennifer has an extremely high success rate, however, the success of Jennifer solutions is in the hands of the parents’ commitment & perseverance once the sleep consultation has ended; therefore Jennifer cannot make any guarantees of success. However, Jennifer will use her best endeavours to support you until the desired result has been achieved.

  • I agree to check with my healthcare provider/doctor if my baby has any medical conditions, which prevent them from being trained safely.
  • I agree to follow safe sleeping practices in line with SIDS recommendations (https://rednose.org.au/article/what-is-a-safe-sleeping-environment).
  • I agree to disclose any medical conditions to Jennifer, which my baby has or has had previously.
  • I understand that my customised baby sleep program is meant for my baby only and should not be shared with a third party. I acknowledge the information might not be suitable for another baby.
  • Any changes I make to my baby’s sleeping or eating arrangements are my decision and My Newborn will only make suggestions for change, of which I am responsible for choosing to implement.
  • It is my responsibility to contact My Newborn for my follow up support and send the sleep log information through to be assessed for feedback as frequently as suggested.

In-Home Cancellation Policy
To confirm any In-Home Program, the client will be required to pay a 25% non-refundable deposit to secure the booking. The remaining amount of the In-Home Program will be required to be paid on the day before Jennifer arrives. Any cancellations barring medical or other emergencies will forfeit the deposit. If  you cancel less than 48 hours before the scheduled visit, the full amount will be required, unless Jennifer can backfill your place with someone on the waiting list.

If your baby is a little under the weather and does not have a temperature, the program can generally proceed as planned. If your baby is sick with a temperature or has been diagnosed with a medical condition by a doctor, the program will be postponed until your baby is better. A doctors certificate may be requested.

Remote Program/Phone Consultation
To confirm the Remote Program or Phone Consultation Jennifer will be required to be paid in full before sleep plans are constructed and the phone consultation takes place.

Remote Program Cancellation policy
The Remote Program and Phone Consultations are non-refundable after the start of sleep work (i.e. when any sleep advice has been delivered to the client via email, text, phone).

Acts of God
If an act of God, such as a fire, flood, earthquake or other natural calamity shall cause you to cancel the sleep services; Jennifer will require payment only for the time actually spent sleep consulting.

Doctor’s appointment
Jennifer requests that every client has an appointment with their doctor to ensure their baby is developmentally on track and fit for sleep training. 

Travel
Within 25km from Bondi Beach. An additional fee of $25ph travelled will be charged if travel is over 25kms.

As the client, you knowingly and voluntarily agree to waive and release Jennifer from any and all claims of liability or demands for compensation that you may acquire during the time working with Jennifer.

By checking this Agreement, you agree to the terms and conditions detailed within.